Kin of shipwreck victims attempt suicide

Two family members of victims of the Sewol ferry that sank in April, tried to commit suicide this weekend, the media reported Monday.

IANS| Updated: May 12, 2014, 20:33 PM IST

Seoul: Two family members of victims of the Sewol ferry that sank in April, tried to commit suicide this weekend, the media reported Monday.

On Sunday, police caught the father of one of the students who died in the ferry accident, as he tried to hang himself from the branch of a tree, The Korea Times daily said.

A daughter of this man had reported his disappearance in Ansan, a suburb of Seoul, where more than 250 of the students who were on the ferry were studying.

On Friday, another relative of a victim was found in a house with symptoms of a drug overdose and was taken to the hospital where he is now recovering and is out of danger, according to the Korea Times.

The newspaper said that this person had conveyed good wishes for everyone on an internet forum.

Soon after the sinking of the Sewol, the vice principal of the school to which the students belonged committed suicide.

He said in a suicide note that he could not bear the guilt of having organised the trip.

This weekend, Israeli experts arrived at the southeastern city of Jindo to extend their support to the families and train 60 South Korean psychiatrists and psychologists assigned to this place where the relatives of the victims are concentrated.

Meanwhile, 27 days after the shipwreck, rescue operations have been interrupted once again due to bad weather, although divers are expected to resume work in a few hours.

Out of the 476 people aboard the ship, only 172 were rescued and the other 302 remained trapped in the ship without chances of survival.

So far, 275 bodies have been recovered, with only 29 more missing, in a rescue operation hindered by strong waves, winds and currents.
The most accepted hypothesis explaining the cause of the accident even as the results of an ongoing investigation are awaited is that the Sewol capsized April 16 after a sharp turn displaced the cargo and the vehicles to one side of the ship thus destabilising it.
Amidst sharp criticism for their management of the incident, the government as well as the South Korean parliament are working on measures to ensure accountability and prevent a recurrence of such a tragedy in the future.